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See how a father and son brought life-changing medical care to low-income families.

'No one can change the world in one day. The idea is to start with small steps.'

See how a father and son brought life-changing medical care to low-income families.
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Delta

Watch scenes from Ricardo's life-changing trip back to Mexico, then scroll down to see how Delta made it possible.

Ricardo comes from a long line of healers.

His grandfather was a shaman, someone who exercises healing practices without a medical degree, in Portuguesa, Venezuela. His father, Alí, is a physician and works in his hometown in Venezuela, devoting his life to his patients and their families.


Alí helping patients. Image via Delta/YouTube.

So, it's no surprise Ricardo followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and became a health care professional. He's currently living in Atlanta, where he's studying for the United States Medical Licensing Exam so he can practice in the U.S.

And it's that generosity of spirit that lead him to enter Delta's My Next Trip Back Contest.

"Initially I was looking for an airline ticket and suddenly clicked ... to the Delta homepage," Ricardo said.

That's where he saw an announcement for the contest.

"I entered and made a video explaining that in my next trip to Latin America I would want to reunite with my dad and bring free medical consultations to the community," he said.

And just a few weeks later, Ricardo was shocked to learn he'd won!

All GIFs via Delta/YouTube.

He had another surprise waiting for him in Mexico.

Ricardo traveled to the Cristo Rey community in Solidaridad, Mexico.

At first, Delta told Ricardo his father would not be able to join him on this adventure, but it was all an elaborate ruse to surprise him!

Once father and son reunited, they were joined by a local physician and medical student from Mexico. This small but mighty team traveled in a mobile home throughout the city's lower-income neighborhoods to distribute care. They visited nearly 200 people in need over the course of a week.

The mobile clinic rolls on. Image via Delta/YouTube.

Many of the ailments and illnesses they saw were due to the conditions of the remote, rural community.

According to Ricardo, the most prevalent diseases they saw were things like urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, skin dermatitis, and parasitic diseases that cause diarrhea in children, which can lead to malnutrition.

The tragic part? A lot of them are completely preventable with the right access to information.

Ricardo treats a patient. Photo courtesy of Ricardo, used with permission.

That's why Ricardo is so passionate about education and outreach.

"I think that if the public were informed through educational talks and better health education, some recurring illnesses could be prevented and thus reduce the level of incidence of [these] diseases." he said.

Image via Delta/YouTube.

Everywhere they went, Ricardo and the team shared joy, kindness, and their medical expertise.

With help from Delta, Ricardo was able to donate blankets, toys, first aid kits, and medicine to the people and facilities that needed it the most. He even made time to visit two elementary schools, where they donated first aid kits and gave talks on how to prevent parasites and other diseases.

Image via Delta/YouTube.

And while parasites may not be the most enjoyable talk for kids, Ricardo is confident his visit made a lasting impression. "Even if not everyone we visited paid us much attention, we know we made a spiritual impact on everyone," he said. "We changed realities."

And they made time for some fun stuff too.


Selfie time! Photo courtesy of Ricardo, used with permission.

Now back home in Atlanta, Ricardo continues to be a force for good.

"If you have received help in your life, help! Your help has the power to change others' realities," Ricardo said.

Winning the Delta contest has inspired him to encourage others to get involved in their communities. He even offered some advice to others looking to get started.

"No one can change the world in one day," he said. "The idea is to start with small steps."

Photo courtesy of Ricardo, used with permission.

Photo courtesy of Capital One
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Growing up in Virginia, Dominique Meeks Gombe idolized her family physician — a young Black woman who inspired Meeks Gombe to pursue her passion for chemistry.

While Meeks Gombe began her career working in an environmental chemistry lab, after observing multiple inefficient processes in and around the lab, she took the initiative to teach herself to code in order to automate and streamline those issues.

That sparked her love for coding and imminent career shift. Now a software engineer at Capital One, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to her childhood mentor and encourage girls to pursue any career they desire.

"I'm so passionate about technology because that's where the world is going," Meeks Gombe said. "All of today's problems will be solved using technology. So it's very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective."

Since 2019, she and her fellow Capital One associates have partnered with the Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.

The nonprofit's mission is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Girls For a Change is one of many local nonprofits that receive support from the Capital One Impact Initiative, which strives to close gaps in equity while helping people gain better access to economic and social opportunities. The initial $200 million, five-year national commitment aims to support growth in underserved communities as well as advance socioeconomic mobility.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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